The first day of Shavous is the 250th birthday of one of my best friends, the most spectacular Jew that ever lived, Yisroel Ben-Eliezer. Most folks know him as the Baal Shem Tov, but today I'm calling him Reb Yisroel since that's what his mom and dad called him at the dawn of his life.
(They didn't say "Hi, liitle Besht, I love you, Baal Shem Tov!" They called him Yisroel when they cuddled him and put him to bed at night. I just wanted to send some love to his parents, Eliezer and Sarah, since they gave us so much, and they died when their son was so young.)
“We could be like the Mayans and the Incas. People will come to Jerusalem and say, ‘Yes, there were these curious people there.’”
The statement comes around the middle of “Out of Faith,” a documentary that offers a moving, honest and evenhanded look at the problems interfaith marriage creates for the Jewish people.
A rabbi and a private equity guy walk into a Starbucks in Times Square around 8:30 p.m. on a Monday. The rabbi, sporting a dark beard and a pocket-sized Pirkei Avot (Ethics of the Fathers), orders a grande coffee with soymilk. The private equity investor grabs an iced coffee and a turkey sandwich, and pays for them both.